Shhh... I'm whispering so the Migraine monsters don't hear me and punish me... Oh yeah, that's kind of like believing in ghosts. But I seem to be having some success with the topamax I'm on for Migraine prevention. I have a Migraine this evening, but I've been running six to eight days between Migraines, for the last three or four weeks. For a year and more before that I had been getting several Migraines a week. So the frequency is cut in half, which makes a big difference. These are early results - I've had good 3 or 4 week stretches before, so I can't predict whether this will continue. But I am hopeful!
I'm still on the minimum topamax dosage. I would have increased it several weeks ago but for a switch in insurance carriers making it necessary to delay the glaucoma test Dr. Gerhardstein wants me to have before increasing the dosage. Now I am happy we have taken it so slowly. Clearly my body has had a chance to acclimate itself to the medication. I am not experiencing any of the side effects I had in the first couple of weeks, either.
The biggest surprise to me is that I have more energy generally. I am not exhausted in the afternoon and evening; I feel motivated and I am getting more done. The constant low level of head pain I lived with most of the time is just gone - it seems to me that pain may have been responsible for a lot of my fatigue in the last year. The last two weekends I have done yardwork and projects around the house that I have wanted to do for ages.
There is a downside, though. It's very easy to start feeling like Wonder Woman in contrast with how I felt before. So once again I need to practice what I preach! Along with my clients, and you dear readers, I need to find that middle ground! For over five years now I have known that to have balance and well-being, to keep my energy up and my Migraines minimized, I need to pace myself. I need frequent breaks, and shifts in focus. I need time off in the middle of the day where I truly rest. I need to pay attention when I feel myself getting wired, when my blood pressure goes up, when I start moving and talking fast, when I feel the muscles in my forehead and scalp begin to contract. These are danger signs for me. Not least because I enjoy them - I like that edgy feeling of moving fast and powering through. But that energy is inevitably followed by a Migraine crash.
A few energy management tips:
- Take a break or shift your focus every 45 - 90 minutes. If you are at a computer get up, stretch and do something else for a few minutes.
- Take "green breaks" where you go outdoors, look outdoors through a window, look at a green plant, or at the very least look at a picture of a green plant. 2 - 5 minutes can make a huge difference.
- Take deep breaths to slow yourself down if you feel your energy or stress level mounting.
- Be sure to take a real break in the middle of the day - don't work through lunch.
I failed at finding the middle ground today. I got a lot done, but there's a price and I'm paying it. And so I learn my lesson again. I'm grateful to have more energy and less pain, and I'm committed to maintaining my energy by using it wisely! Let me know how you're doing with your energy today!